During the winter months the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are more prevalent amongst people suffering from it which can make it a struggle to get through your normal daily routine. While experiencing the winter blues is fairly common, the effects of SAD can be debilitating to those who feel its effects.
If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or may think you or someone you know does there are some important facts about it that you need to know in regard to how it does effect people, available treatment and more.
SAD isn’t only a result of winter weather
Seasonal Affective Disorder is more common during the winter due to the shorter days and lack of sunlight as the brain needs light to be able to create Serotonin which has a direct effect on your Circadian rhythm. If you are work on nights or in a closed environment that has little access to natural daylight throughout the year if you are a sufferer of SAD you may notice the symptoms then as well.
Seasonal Affective Disorder has a number of symptoms
There are a number of symptoms that indicate SAD but it is worth noting that a person may experience all or only some of them. These generally include lethargy and struggling to get through a daily routine, irregular or disrupted sleep patterns leading to exhaustion, loss of libido, anxiety, irritability, unusual food craving and depression. It also may just be one indicator of a larger or further mental health conditions.
It can take a while to diagnose and treat
You may not realise you are suffering from any form of depression initially and any diagnosis can take a while to determine as at least two episodes need to be experienced before one can be made. Any type of mental health issue also differs in every individual so establishing a diagnosis and treatment plan that works properly and best is crucial which can take time,
Multiple treatment options are available for Seasonal Affective Disorder
The most common treatment for SAD is Light Therapy which involves using a medically certified SAD Light to replicate natural sunlight. It works by giving the option to have a timed treatment early during the day so that your eyes are exposed to enough light for the Melanopsin receptors to start the process in your brain for creating Serotonin.
Other treatments depending on how SAD affects a person individually and if there are other factors to consider in the underlying cause of the depression can include methods such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication.
You should seek a diagnosis if you think you may suffer from SAD
Even if you may suspect you only suffer from one or two symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder it is always recommended to seek medical advice before it becomes more of an issue, plus it may also signify other conditions that need to be treated so the earlier you are able to manage any condition the better you will feel overall.